The Guptas, notorious for being cronies of President Jacob Zuma, is said to cash in Denel product sales in the East.
In a letter to Public Protector (PP) adv. Thuli Madonsela, Solidarity (the largest trade union within Denel), contends a transaction between the Guptas and Denel hold negative consequences for the future of the company and its employees.
According to recent media reports, Denel and the Gupta family formed a joint venture company, Denel Asia, by which the Guptas would be able to cash in on Denel product sales in the East.
Solidarity’s Deputy General Secretary for the professional industry, Johan Botha, says there are numerous question marks over the legitimacy of the transaction, especially given the Gupta family’s strong ties with President Jacob Zuma, as well as the fact that the transaction was concluded at a time when Denel’s chief executive and chief financial officer both had been suspended.
“As a trade union we are concerned about the impact this controversial partnership will have on Denel’s reputation, which has lately been tarnished by a number of negative events. We are furthermore concerned about its impact on this year’s salary negotiations and that our members will be adversely affected by it,” Botha says.
In the letter to the Public Protector Solidarity requests that she launces an investigation into this transaction and those who are involved in it in terms of section 6(5) of the Public Protector Act, No 23 of 1994. benefit to those who do not possess these updated passports.
In a bid to address concerns raised by the tourism sector, Cabinet appointed an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) to look at the concerns and come up with recommendations on how best to proceed in the best interests of all.
A briefing session with key stakeholders was held in December in Sandton, where the concessions were clarified, and timelines clearly outlined to ensure there was no confusion on the process.
The actions that were to be taken in the immediate phase, within the first three months that followed the Cabinet decision, were to:
- implement the capturing of biometrics at ports of entry, starting with a pilot at OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town airports;
- look at introducing an Accredited Tourism Company Programme for countries like China, India and Russia;
- Consider a long-term multiple entry visa for a period exceeding three months and up to three years for frequent travellers for business meetings, business people and academics;
- ensure that principals issue letters confirming permission for children to travel on school tours, and
- extend the validity of the parental consent affidavit to six months.
The implementation and capturing of biometrics at ports of entry took off successfully at OR Tambo International Airport, King Shaka International Airport and Cape Town International Airport.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba launched this pilot project, on biometric capturing at OR Tambo International Airport on 15 December 2015.
This was after the Department of Home Affairs had developed, in November 2015, electronic Movement Control System (eMCS) Biometric fingerprint capability at ports of entry.
The pilot was implemented at Lanseria (using two counters initially, and currently five counters), King Shaka (five counters), Cape Town (four counters initially, currently eight) and OR Tambo (eight counters in the Transit Area).
From January 2016, training has been provided to immigration officials by the Department’s Learning Academy, to ensure efficient use and management of the system.